The Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA) hosted Bricks & Clicks on Monday, Oct. 8, a tour that gave select Brand Licensing Europe attendees a chance to look at the modern retail landscape up close.
The first stop was at The Entertainer, located in the Westfield London shopping center in London. A beacon in an industry that has been shaken up by the closure of Toys “R” Us and other retailers this year, The Entertainer has continued to provide entertainment and play items for shoppers across the U.K. The company has plans to expand from 149 stores in the U.K. to 165 by the end of the year, and its growth is due in large part to the licensed toys that line its shelves. “The most success in physical retail is in experiential,” says Steven Ekstract, brand director, global licensing group, UBM.
The Entertainer offers wall-to-wall stock with prominent-branded displays and unique play areas. Featured sections include the Magic Mirror, a life-sized interactive animated AR experience, among others. In addition to a tour of the location, Mark Whittle, head, buying, The Entertainer, offered insight into the store’s success. He also added that while expansion in competitive markets is important, underserved countries, such as Azerbaijan, Malta, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Cypress, Pakistan, Egypt, Macedonia and Albania have presented unique opportunities.
It also opened 59 “Totally Toys”-branded store-in-stores at the British home goods and fashion retailer Matalan. The Entertainer also gives supplier exclusives and a Addo Division that provides private label items and DTRs, which included Pinkfong’s Baby Shark plush toy based on the viral song.
The shop was located in an equally impressive shopping center that offered specially curated experiences and bold branding strategies amid modern design concepts. Following The Entertainer, the group moved on to the “Clicks” portion of the event, which involved a tour of the headquarters of Amazon U.K.